SOFIA - A simulation tool for bottom founded and floating offshore structures

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This paper presents a recently developed simulation tool, SOFIA (Simulation Of Floaters In Action), suitable for modeling slender bottom founded and moored/freely floating space frame structures exposed to environmental loads. In contrast to traditional rigid body formulations of floating structures, the finite element method is utilized in the implemented numerical approach, which allows for direct output of local section forces and displacements for joint analysis and fatigue calculations. The numerical approach builds upon a partitioned solution procedure, constituted by individual fluid and structure domains, which are coupled through the structural equation of motion. The structural domain is handled by means of the finite element method, while large displacements and stress stiffening effects, exhibited by moored floating structures, are inherently included due to a co-rotational element formulation. The fluid domain is modeled by an appropriate water wave theory, and the hydrodynamic loads are evaluated at the instantaneous fluid-structure interface by means of a relative Morison equation. The equation of motion is solved in time domain, which makes SOFIA capable of handling bottom founded and floating space frame structures that may experience non-linear behavior. To demonstrate the applicability of the simulation tool, numerical examples of a bottom founded and a floating space frame structure are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Article number335
JournalProcedia Engineering
Pages (from-to)1308-1313
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventThe X International Conference on Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2017 - Sapienza University of Rome, Rom, Italy
Duration: 10 Sep 201713 Sep 2017
Conference number: 10


ConferenceThe X International Conference on Structural Dynamics, EURODYN 2017
LocationSapienza University of Rome



  • Non-linear dynamics
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Computational modeling
  • Offshore structures

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